There was a slight improvement in waiting times at Scotland’s emergency departments over the last recorded week, latest figures show.
Data from Public Health Scotland, released on Tuesday, shows 8,326 attendees at A&E departments faced a wait of more than four hours in the week up to July 31.
This is down from last week’s report of 8,955 patients under the same measurement.
Some 24,699 people attended emergency departments across Scotland during the week, meaning 66.3% were seen and admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.
A target set by the Scottish Government aims for 95% of patients to be seen and subsequently discharged or admitted within this timeframe.
A further 2,542 patients spent more than eight hours waiting to be seen, while 1,041 attendees faced waits of more than 12 hours – a small drop from the 1,064 reported last week, which was the second-highest level on record for that measurement.
Scottish Conservative health spokesperson Craig Hoy said: “These grim figures show there is no end in sight to the crisis in Scotland’s accident and emergency units.
“While we’re sadly getting used to seeing appalling stats every week, we can never accept a situation where over 1,000 patients are having to wait over 12 hours to be seen.
“We know that excessive delays in A&E lead to needless deaths, which is why this situation is totally unacceptable.
“The buck stops with the SNP Government for these delays. Appalling workforce planning over many years continues to let down patients and our dedicated but exhausted frontline staff.
“It’s clear Humza Yousaf’s flimsy Covid Recovery Plan isn’t fit for purpose, and he urgently needs a new approach. If things are this bad in summer – when A&E is traditionally quieter – the coming winter doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Scottish Labour health spokesperson Jackie Baillie said the NHS has been “forced into perpetual crisis”.
She said: “A&E is in disarray, with thousands waiting over eight hours for treatment – but Humza Yousaf is missing in action.
“Scotland’s A&E services are dangerously overheated because of lack of capacity elsewhere in the NHS system – with lives being put in danger every day.
“NHS staff are working heroically but they are being failed day in and day out by this Government.
“Lives are being risked on a daily basis through SNP incompetence – but the minister is nowhere to be seen.
“Humza Yousaf needs to listen to staff and get back to the day job before lives are lost.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Hospital occupancy, Covid inpatient levels and staff absences remain high and continue to impact the delivery of emergency services. Despite this, nearly two-thirds of patients are being seen within four hours of arrival. Scottish A&Es have outperformed the rest of the UK for the last seven years.
“We are investing £50 million to drive down waiting times through our Urgent and Unscheduled Care Collaborative programme, including further development of Flow Navigation Centres in every board which aim to ensure rapid access to a clinician and scheduled appointments, where possible. This will avoid people waiting in A&E waiting rooms unnecessarily.”
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